Coleen Nolan, Denise Welch and Carol McGiffin talk on their shock win at last year’s National Television Awards and how they’re preparing for this year’s bash…

How did you feel about winning last year?

Coleen:
“Sometimes you go to these award shows and think you’re in with a chance, but, hand on heart, never did we have an idea we’d win. You can see it just by looking at our faces – the shock and euphoria were genuine. When you’re up against some of the biggest shows on telly, you don’t think you have a hope in hell.”

Carol: “Even Christine Bleakley looked surprised! We’d never even been long-listed for the NTAs before, so to win it was amazing.”

Denise: “One of the best things about winning was to wipe the smiles off of the Top Gear people’s faces. They’d told people via their website not to vote for us.”

So you had nothing prepared?

Coleen: “No, when I went up the steps I couldn’t remember anyone’s name and I hoped Carol would remember anyone I’d forgotten. It was a brilliant night, not just for us, but also for the production people who were all at the back of the arena. They do all the hard work. We all just swan in for an hour.”

What has the award meant to the programme?

Denise:
“It meant that people in the industry finally saw us as contenders, that we could win Best Factual. In a way Loose Women is factual, because we tell the truth about how much our partners annoy us! The great thing is that it’s the one show where you have to be older to be on it. We’ve tried younger presenters and unfortunately they’ve either not had a life or aren’t ready to talk about it. With us, all our dirty linen has not only been aired in public, it’s been washed and put back in the drawers.”

So you enjoy the recognition the show provides?

Coleen:
“This man came up to me and said, ‘My mum loves you.’ I looked up and it was Noel Gallagher! No matter that it’s his mum who likes me, he knew who I was and who Loose Women were. I was so thrilled.”

Will you be having a drink this year, then?

Carol:
“I think we will be taking it easy. You don’t want to go up on stage drunk and look a complete idiot.”

Denise: “Well, there’s no drink during the ceremony unless you smuggle in a hip flask, which Carol and I have considered doing.”

*The National TV Awards screen on ITV1 on Weds, January 26